20th Century March Mormon Madness: Bracketology [repaired]

After careful deliberation, we give you the bracket for this month’s tournament. Please remember that the question we are seeking to answer is: “Which 20th century person has had the most influence on the 21st century church?”

You can see the bracket (in xls format) here. Please feel free to discuss it amongst yourselves and make some bold predictions regarding outcomes. The tournament itself will begin with a play-in game next Tuesday (Mar 18th) between Sterling McMurrin and Clarissa Williams beginning at noon.

Thank you for your participation.

[The bracket has been fixed. Although, shouldn’t we all be expecting historical inaccuracies from me by now?]


  1. A formidable field. Just a nitpick, you’ll want to fix the spellings of Sheri Dew and Donny Osmond.

  2. Billy Campbell a 2 seed? What am I missing?

    Also, did you all intentionally create match ups in the first round that pit similar constituencies against themelves. For example, Packer v. Peterson; Dew v. Smith; Ulrich v. Quinn?

  3. Steve Evans says:

    Randy, this is John C. we’re talking about — EVERYTHING is intentional, even the typos.

  4. Glad to know there is a method to the madness. But seriously, what’s up with Billy?

  5. I’m with Randy B.– Billy Campbell a 2 seed and David O McKay only a 3 seed?

  6. THere is no such person as J. Michael Quinn. It’s D. Michael Quinn. Disappointed not to see Truman Madsen. Also, It’s lame that the Top left is all the heavy hitters, and bottom left is middle wight, and the enitre right side is completely light weight.

    As it is, Hinckley, Talmage, Dew and Nibley will probably be the final four…

  7. Steve Evans says:

    Matt, maybe they meant Michael J. Quinn, engineering dean at Seattle U.?

    Whenever brackets get made, people love to complain about em. It’s part of the fun.

  8. Actually, I would like to see better dispersion, if only to prove and validate the original list put together in the previous post. ie- in the church, authority trumps intelligence, popularity, or charisma in so far as influence is concerned.

  9. And yes I am complaining because it is “part of the fun” (emoticon smiley thing)

  10. Who is Billy Campbell?

  11. Steve Evans says:

    I don’t suppose it’s this Billy Campbell. Maybe Billy Casper?

  12. Researcher says:

    When you list James Marriott (#7) do you mean J. Willard Marriott, the hotel guy, or do you mean James Marriott the finance writer? :-)

  13. Researcher says:

    …or James Marriott the historian, naturalist, activist, and artist?

    BTW, “J” stands for John.

  14. Maybe it’s the guy who replaced Paul McCartney in the Beatles.

    Or one of these folks.

  15. I suspect it’s Billy Johnson, who was known to go undercover as Billy Campbell.

  16. I’m new here and need further light and knowledge. Can someone please explain this to me? How does this work?

  17. It doesn’t work, Ben O.

  18. Justin (#16),

    I again bow to your greatness.

  19. Steve Evans says:

    Yeah, I have no idea. Blame John C. (as usual)

  20. Ben O,

    If it proceeds like it has in the past, you’ll get the option to vote between two choices and the winner will move on.

    Here, John C. is actually trying to capture a particular reason for choosing one or the other “who has had the most influence on 21st century church” rather than the usual ambiguous “who wins?”

    In the end, like so many other things in life, the win will go to the most popular, regardless of influence.

    I predict Gordon B. Hinckley with no trouble whatsoever.

  21. No Eugene England? Isn’t that like Duke or NC not getting an invitation to the dance?

  22. I just did my bracket, and my URHC bracket ended up with Sherrie Dew and Chieko Okazaki in the Elite Eight. I had visions of WWE wrestling. Of course, Dew snapped Okazaki like a twig. Dew also takes down Sonia Johnson in the semi finals.

    The #7 seed Ezra Taft Benson wins a stunning upset over the #1 seed GBH and goes on to win the whole thing.

    Where do we mail our brackets? What are the prizes? How much does it cost to get in?

  23. The regions are “1st Presidencies,” “Other GA’s,” “Church-important non-GA’s,” and “Secular non-GA’s”

    Eugene didn’t make the cut because we forgot about him.

    Posting predictions here is sufficient for entry. You win bragging rights and a warm, comforting feeling.

  24. To openly beat a dead horse, I would like to see one with just apostles and another one without any apostles. I just don’t see anyone outside the apostolic group who legitimately can claim the title.

    Which means I really like the way that the bracket is set up, since it will produce 4 distinct winners – the final four consisting of one from each group. Great structure.

  25. Also, I should note that I am jumping on the Evans/Farnsworth bandwagon. I’m riding Philo to a championship!

  26. One last note, I want more imagery like Ann’s. It’s funny (especially the notion that Sonia Johnson will make it that far!)

  27. Hate to claim confusion (again) but is GBH going against Chieko Okazaki or BRM? Is it a sports thing? Pinewood derby format?

    Anyway, being too dim to figure out the system, here are my choices:

    Bruce R.–what with the stick of Bruce and all.

    Gerald Lund–I actually have friends who gained a testimony through reading his novels.

    Neal A. Maxwell–so smart, so faithful. Appeals to a wide range of folks.

    Colleen Harrison–not everybody can inspire the church to embrace a completely foreign line of thinking. (The 12 Steps)

    Orson Scott Card–The Living Scripture/Nest Animated Scripture Stories are very influential on the young crowd.

  28. Jami, it is modeled on the NCAA basketball tournaments. Two people are pitted against each other in web-polling. That’s it.

  29. Researcher says:

    Here’s my favorites, if I’m understanding the format right. Thinking in terms of influence on the 21st century church eliminates a few contenders right off the bat.

    Hinckley, McConkie, Dew, Farnsworth

  30. Final Four: #6 JFS v. #2 Talmage & #8 Wilkinson v. #12 Covey

    Champion: Talmage

  31. My final four:
    President Hinckley, Bro. Farnsworth, Bro. Johnson, and…um…Elder McConkie.

    Eventually it will be Pres. Hinckley vs. Bro. Farnsworth with Bro. Farnsworth winning.

  32. Sorry, a sports simpleton here. I’ll just vote when the time comes.

  33. Eric Russell says:

    John, your brackets are all jacked up. The 5-12 winner plays the 4-13 winner, the 6-11 winner plays the 3-14 winner and the 7-10 winner plays the 2-15 winner.

    Apparently John is a sports simpleton too.

  34. Steve Evans says:

    Philo T. all the way.

    And Eric is right.

  35. Eric, you are right. But this is the way I did it the last time I did this. This isn’t exactly the NCAA tournament

  36. It would be fun to have campaign posts prior to and separate from the ballots themselves. My elegant prose might convince dozens that l’affaire Johnson has had an impact on Mormon women that will last well into the next century. Then again, you might all just laugh at me. But if someone has already voted, the persuasive arguments of others will be for naught. J

    ust last night, when I was talking with Left Field about his ballot and he eliminated BRM in the Sweet Sixteen, he explained that the only thing anybody in High Priests ever says about McConkie is how wrong he was. That was a persuasive argument, and caused me to reconsider my predictions – I took him out by the round of eight.

    This doesn’t HAVE to be popularity contest! It’s a great place to talk about influence and what matters in Mormonism and what doesn’t.

  37. Randy B. says:

    “. . . the only thing anybody in High Priests ever says about McConkie is how wrong he was.”

    In my ward, some of the HPs actually bring Mormon Doctrine to read when they are bored. Gggrrrrr.

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